If you’re considering a slate roof, you may be wondering if you should choose slate – or a different roofing material. While making your decision, it’s important for you to understand all of the pros and cons of slate tile.
So, in this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of natural slate roofing material, compared to other common products like asphalt shingles. Let’s get started now!
The Benefits Of A Slate Roof
There are many great reasons to choose slate roofing tiles. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the benefits of installing a slate roof.
Energy-efficient – Slate is very a energy-efficient material. Because it is very dense, it can help keep your home cooler in the summer, by preventing hot air from entering your attic and your home. And, in the winter, the heavy, dense slate material helps prevent warm air from escaping, and being released into the atmosphere. In both cases, slate helps you save on your heating and cooling bills.
Completely fire resistant – As a natural stone product, slate is completely fire resistant, unlike asphalt shingles and other such products. A slate tile roof will resist high heat and temperatures, and fire – making slate roofs ideal if wildfires and bushfires are a major concern near your home or building.
Environmentally-friendly – Slate is a naturally-occurring material, and requires very little processing, unlike other products like asphalt shingle roofing and metal roofing. This makes it more environmentally-friendly.
Long lifespan of 100 years or more – With proper care, it’s not unheard of for a slate roof to last at least 100 years, and some roofs can last 150 years with proper installation. In contrast, most asphalt shingle roofs must be replaced every 15-30 years. Wood shingles may only last 20-30 years, and even most metal roofs will not last past 50 years.
Durable and low maintenance – Beyond checking for broken or loose tiles, and occasionally washing the roof, a slate roof requires no other maintenance, and is very durable.
Very little roofing waste – Even when a slate roof must be replaced, the slates themselves can often be re-used for another roofing project, or for other purposes, like flooring, and building garden pathways, or even driveways.
The Drawbacks Of A Slate Roof
Though slate has a number of great benefits, it’s not perfect for everyone. Here are some of the drawbacks of slate roofing.
Extremely heavy, may require reinforcement – On average, slate weighs about 360-700 kilograms per square (~9.3 metres) of roofing material. For comparison, lighter-weight asphalt shingles are usually only about 90 kilograms per square. The heavy weight of slate means that some homes may need reinforcement before slate can be placed, which means a higher overall project cost.
High cost compared to other roof materials – Slate is probably the most expensive roof material you can buy. That’s not to say that it is not a good investment. While it’s more expensive than a terracotta tile roof or an asphalt roof, for example, slate will easily last 100 years – so it can actually be cheaper in the long run.
However, the high up-front cost of a slate roof may make it just too costly for some homeowners, particularly those who do not expect to stay in their current home for more than 5-10 years.
Foot traffic can damage tiles – Slate is very durable, but it does not hold up well to direct impact from foot traffic. This means that if you hire someone to clean out your gutters and they walk all over your roof, they could damage several tiles, which may need replacement.
Requires specialised installers – Your average roofing contractor is not qualified to install a slate roof. Slate requires specialised installation from master slaters, who can ensure that your roof is built to last. Hiring a specialised roofing contractor means you’ll get better results, of course, but it also means that you’ll pay more for your roof.
Is A Slate Roof Worth It?
Despite its high overall cost and other quirks, slate roofing is the longest-lasting roofing material on the market – and if you plan on owning your home for a long time, it provides you with a great return on investment. Interested in learning more about the benefits of slate, or getting an estimate for your roofing project?
Call NSW Slate Roofing on 1300 102 908.